The Washington Nationals once had a reputation for being cheap, but over the past few years, there has been a shift, especially with the MLB Draft. They have not been afraid to give massive contracts to Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, and they also have gone above the draft scale to sign non-first rounders like Sammy Solis, Robbie Ray A.J. Cole.
Will the trend continue again at the 2011 MLB Draft? Nationals owner Mark Lerner indicated it would in an interview with James Wagner of the Washington Post.
"We're hoping that we're getting someone great at 6, 23 and 34 - and down in the other rounds, too," Nationals owner Mark Lerner told the Post's James Wagner yesterday in Hagerstown. "Last year we had great luck in going after kids with signability issues like A.J. and Robbie, and hopefully we'll have the same opportunity again this year if the opportunity presents itself."
If so, it would be a true indication the Nationals are willing to spend, since they do not have a slam-dunk pick to sign.